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C900 Performance, Mods & Tuning Covers Tuning & Performance modifications for the Classic 900 (C900)

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  #121  
Old 10th June 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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100% back together, and seems to be running great. Everything is doing what it should. I've been watching the WBO2 a bit, and it spends most of its time in the 14.xx range, which seems appropriate for cruising around. When first started, it's 12.xx which also seems about right. I've not been able to really watch it when driving hard, and I haven't been driving that hard anyway... maybe I can get the wife to watch it, or I'll get off my *** and datalog it.

While fixing the WGA, I was under the car admiring the exhaust work when I noticed I could not see the taper from the 3" cat to the 2.5" exhaust, so I busted out the tape measure and realized the shop "screwed up" and did a 3" exhaust from tip to tail. SUPERB work - all mandrel bends and clean welds, no crush bends and janky assembly. I'm really stunned at what a great job they did... The whole reason I was doing a 2.5" was to avoid fitment problems over the rear axle, but that apparently wasn't an issue for them.

I had originally planned on having a neighborhood fabrication shop do the exhaust work, but they were over-booked and recommended a shop called Muffler Tech on the south side of town. MAD PROPS to those guys - they were incredibly professional, easy to work with, and remarkably affordable. I brought them $300 worth of hardware (wastegate housing, v-band pair, and a 90* outlet) and they provided a bunch of mandrel bent 3" pipe, a 3" Magnaflow cat, and a 3" Magnaflow muffler. Their price was $1000 (incidentally, what I paid for the car) which I consider very reasonable. Getting a 3" JT from Sweden cost nearly that, and didn't include the DP or cat. $1300 for MAX PERFORMANCE? I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

https://gotduals.com/

(LOL)

Next task is an actual smog... which, you know, is the goal. Then (for July, I'm broke) is having some new interior door panels made. Then, I think, let the SPG be for the rest of '19. Unless, I guess, I'm able to sell one of the 9-3 convertibles in which case maybe I've got some other projects.

Last edited by jvanabra; 10th June 2019 at 06:24 PM.
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  #122  
Old 10th June 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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Now I can breathe for two years....


http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org...spg_19smog.jpg
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  #123  
Old 11th June 2019
Matt Dupuis Matt Dupuis is offline
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Woot, congrats! Job done, then?
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  #124  
Old 11th June 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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For now, I hope. Mechanically all the bullet points are checked... engine in good shape, transmission that works, dialed in T5, intake, exhaust, turbo (Super60), FMIC (Jak Stoll), brakes in good shape (axle swap, 9000 calipers), acceptable wheels (17x7, 18lbs), tires are good, suspension dialed in (Bilsteins, Brad's adjustable spring perches), fully rebuilt steering. I would say it's at a very solid Stage 0.5.

About the only thing left on the running & driving part is a mild tune, and I think all the pieces are in place to do that - appropriate monitoring, wiring, etc. Got a laptop & t5suite so I just need some dyno time I suspect. But, it's a great drive right now - just a bit disappointing when it goes *thunk* against 13psi when you know it has a lot more to offer.

There is a ton of other work to do - the interior needs to be shored up, a fair amount of exterior work, instrument cluster, exterior lighting. Maybe it's that *my* work is done and now I have to pay people? But, I can feel good that it's legal on the road and everything that might break has been replaced. Mechanically it's very close to perfect - it's the detail work now. The bit where I virtually always stall out.
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  #125  
Old 10th July 2019
tony2x tony2x is offline
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I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this thread. I drove my T5 converted 1990 900 down from Seattle last week and was able to smog it successfully the next day thanks to the information in this thread.

I now daily drive a fully legal California emissions certified T5 900 with a current smog certificate.
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  #126  
Old 11th July 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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That's awesome, great news!


Proof positive that doing weird stuff in California isn't *that* hard.
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  #127  
Old 11th July 2019
tony2x tony2x is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvanabra View Post
That's awesome, great news!


Proof positive that doing weird stuff in California isn't *that* hard.
Nah, as long as the weird stuff is CARB approved. Initially I took it to a smog place and he refused to smog it before I even popped the hood.

"Nah nah nah man, sorry, I don't do these cars, they are too old and I don't know what i'm looking for, plus this one looks hella modified.".

Uh no, it is 100% stock and using OEM SAAB parts. The second guy I took it too knew the car, I explained that it was an engine swap from a 1994 and fortunately I had the VIN and title for a scrapped 94 900T. He trundled off poked around the car gave me the thumbs up and stuck the probe in it's tailpipe. 20 mins later the car was smogged and up to date.

Yay!
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  #128  
Old 11th July 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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That's really impressive that they smogged it without a BAR label. I thought that would be possible, but I didn't want to push my luck. Hopefully you can get through next one the same as well. Worst case, it's only eight bucks to get the label and you're set.
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  #129  
Old 11th July 2019
tony2x tony2x is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvanabra View Post
That's really impressive that they smogged it without a BAR label. I thought that would be possible, but I didn't want to push my luck. Hopefully you can get through next one the same as well. Worst case, it's only eight bucks to get the label and you're set.
Yeah, I figured at worst they'd send me to the ref. I spoke to my local ref and explained that both donor car and original car were California cars from new and I had the titles to them both and he said that it would probably pass.

As it went I didn't really need to explain anything because the smog guy was familiar with the cars. I'll keep going back there for subsequent checks.
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  #130  
Old 11th July 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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Really reinforces the notion that is the engine configuration (displacement/cylinders/valves) & transmission configuration matches, California just doesn't care that much! We shoulda been doing this stuff a decade ago!
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  #131  
Old 17th July 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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No, I can't leave well enough alone.

One thing that always bugged me about eeuro's plug & play T5 harness is that it uses the '80s-era factory 3-wire O2 sensor. It's pretty well documented that the newer 4-wire sensors work better... which is why everyone uses them. T5 OBDII expects one.

So I ordered in a 9-3 "upstream" OBDII sensor to replace my 3-wire. Why a 9-3 sensor? Because I knew I had the proper mating TE housing and I didn't want go junkyard a NG900 housing.

Pretty easy operation... remove the terminals from the 2-pin (heater) housing, and the quick disconnect from the sensor wire:


http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org...g_4wireo21.jpg

Crimp a new terminal onto the sensor wire, run a new wire to the ECM for the reference ground, and stick in a housing:


http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org...g_4wireo22.jpg

Looks real nice!


http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org...g_4wireo23.jpg

I'm real happy with that nice gold color the ATP Turbo turbo outlet is turning!

Interesting detail that I don't understand: T5 ECMs have several pins for reference voltages - 66 and 67 are lugged together and provide reference grounds for most sensors.

46, however, is a reference ground ONLY for the O2 sensor... the O2 sensor definitely deserves priority treatment!

On the eeuro harness, 46, 66, and 67 are all lugged together but none go to O2 sensor (it's 3-wire, obviously). I'm not an electrical whiz, but I don't think this is right. At best, this does nothing since 46 is a dedicated reference ground. At worst, I imagine it might screw with sensor readings via ground potentials. I would think if one wasn't going to run a 4-wire O2 sensor, the correct answer would be do nothing with 46.

IDK, and IDC … I've got a 4-wire sensor and this pet peeve won't peeve me anymore!
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  #132  
Old 18th July 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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Haha. In my face.


Pro: Car runs MUCH better. The AFR gauge shows a full point lower and AFR goes richer faster under load. I might blame the "old" O2 sensor, but although it is about seven years old it has less than 10,000 miles on it and does not appear contaminated or otherwise suspect. FWIW, I had similar results on my XR4Ti when I installed a 4-wire O2 sensor and directly connected the sensor to the ECM's reference ground. Instant improvement in throttle response and on-boost performance. I think "chassis ground" is not a great solution to O2 sensor.


Con: Immediately upon startup I got a CEL P0135, which is O2 sensor heater current out of range. Tech 2 showed a steady ~480ma to the heater which was in range, but maybe there was a spike on startup. I will take another look at the wiring for the heater, but nothing there changed. Maybe a defective sensor?
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  #133  
Old 19th July 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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Odd bits of data:

The 9-3 style sensor has a preheater resistance of 8ohm, but the old 3-wire c900 style sensor is 4ohm.

In WIS, through 1998, Saab says the preheater should have a resistance of 1.8-4ohms. But, in 1999 that spec disappears.

WIS says the T5 P0135 fault is for <500ma or >2300ma. The equivalent code on T7 is P1135, which is <300ma AND P1136 which is >2300ma.

There are different part numbers for the T5 and T7 sensor, but it's impossible to know whether that's a function of cable length (T5 = 41", T7 = 26") or not.

Bosch says that their preheaters run between 500 and 2000ma, but Ford says that Bosch preheaters run between 400 and 2000ma. All the 9-3 style sensors I have on all four cars run 480ma... at least on the SPG. I will check a 9-3 tomorrow.

:shrug:

All I got right now is that maybe the preheater changed in some subtle way, the T5 just isn't having it... I need an older, less efficient preheater. DUMB.

Last edited by jvanabra; 19th July 2019 at 12:30 AM.
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  #134  
Old 19th July 2019
Matt Dupuis Matt Dupuis is offline
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Good info to have, too bad you can't run the 4 wire. The improved driveability points to it being an improvement.
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  #135  
Old 19th July 2019
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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I can still use the correct 4-wire, I just need an older version. Nice fellow at trionictuning.com pointed me in the right direction...

The NG900/9000 uses an LSH25 senor, which Bosch calls a "thimble type" sensor. The 9-3 uses an LSF42 sensor, which Bosch calls a "planar type" sensor.

From Bosch:

Thimble Type Sensors (Type Code LS, LSH, LSM 11)
So called due to the design of the ceramic sensor element used. These sensors can be constructed in various formats from simple single wire sensors to heated four wire sensors with either ground isolated or grounded cases. Using a patented “Platinum Grid” design thimble these sensors are manufactured in the following formats - single wire, two-wire, three-wire, and four-wire

Planar Type Sensors (Type Code LSF, LSU)
Improved designed sensor using “Planar” or thick film manufacturing technology. These are heated four wire sensors and whilst operating on the same principle as the thimble type sensors, the planar design provides a more effective heater design, more robust construction, faster switching time and superior service life.

Kinda sucks that an improved heater means I can't win faster switching and a longer life, but it is what it is.

I ordered a 13662 sensor from Amazon last night, which is the correct LSH25 type. Should be plug & play... and I get an extra 1' of cable to manage FOR FREE.
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  #136  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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13662 sensor is in, and Tech 2 shows this sensor sucking down 800-1200ma on the heater circuit, so double to triple what the newer sensor was using. That wins me no check engine light.

I guess the upside of this configuration is that, for pretty much the entire engine management side of things everything I need comes from a T5.5 car. I like not having a mish-mosh of things under the hood.

Interestingly, the 13662 sensor also leaned the mixture back out a bit, although it's still an improvement over the previous 3-wire sensor. It's kind of nice having a WBO2 sensor to double-check the engine management.

One odd thing: When I first started it there was a POP, like a backfire! I couldn't really tell whether it was through the intake or through the exhaust. Odd. Not sure what might have caused it, and I hope it doesn't happen again. Othewise, the car drove normally/well.

So if I have no pop and no CEL, mechanically I am done with this car for a while. Next project is finishing the stereo, which is basically 100% outsourced since it's upholstery work. After that a whole laundry list of detail work, and hopefully a tune at some point.... although maybe with working wideband I can use t5suite's autotune? What could possibly go wrong?
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  #137  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
jvanabra jvanabra is offline
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No more pops, no more CEL. Done.


Onto some interior work!
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